Who doesn’t love crispy french fries right!
I recently started actually making a variety of different flavors of french fries by using more then just russets potatoes. These are great for french fries because they are pretty firm and hold their shape well after baking. But for this batch I actually used yams and sweet potatoes and it turned out great…for me. My kids actually do not like these sweeter potatoes and that’s just fine because I can not get enough! More for me 😉
For these guys I used a tad of oil but it is very easy to make oil free potatoes. A great method is to boil or steam the fries (already cut pieces) in water for a few minutes before you bake it. I usually boil them for about 5-10 minutes depending on how thick I cut the fries. Then toss them with the spices of your choice and bake at 400 degrees until tender. I always broil them for 2 minutes at the end to give them that crispy crunch (for printable recipe scroll down..past health benefits section).
Potatoes.. these amazing tubers have so many great benefits for your health.
Potatoes contain biologically active phytochemicals such as Beta-carotene, polyphenols, ascorbic acid, tocopherol, alpha-lipoic acid, selenium and dietary ﬁber (Lachman et al., 2005). Some of the key nutrients include vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber (McGill et al., 2013). The bio-availability of the many beneficial compounds found in potatoes make them a powerful antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer food that is both cheap and a great source of protein (for review read, Visvanathan et al., 2015, McGill et al., 2013).
One of the best active ingredients in potatoes are phenolic compounds. Many of the known protective role potatoes play against chronic diseases occurs in part because of the high levels of phenolic compounds, such as chlorogenic acid found in potatoes. Chlorogenic acid has been suggested by many researchers to be a powerful anti-diabetic substance because it can help reduce glucose absorption, improved glucose control, and inhibit fat deposition (Bassoli et al., 2008, Kubow et al., 2014).
Some studies suggest that consuming potatoes can reduce inflammation. When looking at the markers of inflammation in the body, people who ate potatoes daily for 6 weeks showed a significant reduction in these inflammatory markers (Kaspar et al., 2011).
Anticancer and antioxidant:
Phenolic compounds also prevent oxidative damage to DNA , prevent proliferation of cancer cells, and up-regulate expression of cellular antioxidant enzymes. Making it a powerful anticancer and antioxidant agent (Kubow et al., 2014, Al-Saikhan et al., 1995).
Protein quality and cardiovascular health:
Despite the low amount of protein found in potatoes (1-1.5% of weight) the protein that they do contain has a extremely high biological value (McGill et al., 2013). What does this mean, well the biological value (BV) refers to a score given to a particular food based on the proportion of amino acids found within that food and how similar it is to the requirements of our bodies. So how does a potato measure up, well it has a BV score of 90-100 while an egg has a BV of 100. Keep in mind however that you will still need to consume more potatoe then egg to get the same amount of protein, but that just means you can eat more food!!! Another win!
Potatoes and potato components have a favorable impact on several measures of cardiometabolic health. Another amazing property of potato protein is that it exhibits angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory action (Pihlanto et al., 2008). In plain english this means that these ACE inhibitor (which is what is in the drugs used to treat hypertension) helps lower blood pressure!!! And to boot, the phenolic compounds (which we know are high in potatoes) also act to help reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure (McGill et al., 2013). Coupled with the high potassium and low sodium levels found in potatoes and that is a win win for heart health! Digestion, prebiotic and intestinal health:
Potato starch! Starch is the predominant carbohydrate in potatoes (McGill et al., 2013) and contain amylose and amylopectin. Because of the high amylose content, potato starch is resistant to the action of amylase and amylolytic enzymes and thus behave as resistant starch (8) (meaning it is resistant to digestion, behaving more like a fiber). Now don’t go freaking out..breath.. this is a GOOD THING and I will tell you why. Resistant starches that enters the large intestine is fermented to produce short-chain fatty acids which act as a prebiotic to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria (Higgins et al., 2004) and crowd out the bad bacteria (Kennan et al., 2015). To maintain a healthy colony of beneficial bacteria, you need to ‘feed’ and nourish these bacteria. Luckily some primary food are fiber, and starch that resists small intestine digestion..aka potatoes! Additionally, for individulas who have small intestine bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) or are trying to heal intestinal permeability, it is vital to minimize fermentation in the small intestines. Can you guess where this is going…where can’t resistant starches ferment!! So long story short..resistant starches raise the good bacteria and help lower the bad bacteria helping to heal and support intestinal health (Filippo et al., Flint et al., 2012)!
**SIDE NOTE ON HIGH FAT DIETS: Research has also found that high fats diets will impair this beneficial fermentation process, while low fat diets (18%) having no determinant affect (Kennen et al., 2015, Delzenne et al., 2011). Luckily potatoes have a lower fat content when compared to rice or pasta which is a very appealing quality to many (Visvanathan et al., 2015). Despite it’s bad reputation in the obesity epidememic, the key to this health powerhouse is in it’s preparation. Deep fried french fries or bakes potato covered in cheese and sour cream is not going to help your waist line or your health! Check out this and other oil-free recipes to enjoy the health benefits these guys have to offer!
–Al-Saikhan MS, Howard LR and Miller JC, (1995) Antioxidant activity and total phenolics in diﬀerent genotypes of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). J Food Sci 60:341–343.
–Bassoli BK, Cassolla P, Borba-Murad GR, Constantin J, Salgueiro- Pagadigorria CL, Bazotte RB, et al., (2008) Chlorogenic acid reduces the plasma glucose peak in the oral glucose tolerance test: eﬀects on hepatic glucose release and glycaemia. Cell Biochem Funct 26:320–328.
–Delzenne NM, Neyrinck AM, Cani PD. (2011) Modulation of the gut microbiota by nutrients with prebiotic properties: consequences for host health in the context of obesity and etabolic syndrome. Microb Cell Fact 10(Suppl 1):S10.
–Higgins JA. Resistant starch: metabolic effects and potential health benefits. J AOAC Int. 2004;87:761–8.
–Filippoa C , Cavalieria D , Paolab M , Ramazzottic M , Poulletd JB, Massartd S , Collinib S, Pieraccinie G, and Lionettib P. (2010) Impact of diet in shaping gut microbiota revealed by a comparative study in children from Europe and rural Africa. PNAS, 107(33) 14691–14696
–Flint H, Scott KP, Louis P & Duncan SH. (2012) Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology 9, 577-589.
–Kaspar KL, Park JS, Brown CR, Mathison BD, Navarre DA. (2011) Pigmented potato consumption alters oxidative stress and inflammatory damage in men. J Nutr. 141:108–11.
–Kubow S, Hobson L, Iskandar MM, Sabally K, Donnelly DJ and Agellon LB, (2014) Extract of Irish potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) decreases body weight gain and adiposity and improves glucose control in the mouse model of diet-induced obesity. Mol Nutr Food Res 58:2235–2238.
–Lachman J and Hamouz K (2013) Red and purple coloured potatoes as a signiﬁcant antioxidant source in human nutrition – a review. Plant Soil Environ 51:477–482. -McGill CR, Kurilich AC and Davignon J (2013) The role of potatoes and potato components in the cardiometabolic health: a review. Ann Med 45: 467-473.
–Pihlanto A, Akkanen S, Korhonen HJ.(2008) ACE-inhibitory and antioxidant properties of potato (Solanum tuberosum).Food Chem. 109: 104–12.
–Zhang C, Ma Y, Zhao X and Mu J. (2009) Inﬂuence of copigmentation on stability of anthocyanins from purple potato peel in both liquid state and solid state. J Agric Food Chem 57:9503–9508.
Crispy bakes french fries
Resturant quality crispy fries without all that oil and batter.
We love to make these as a snack or along side a burger or in a buddah bowl
- 5 russett potato
- 2 yams or sweet potatoes
- 2 tbs salt
- 2 tbs garlic powder
- 1 tbs paprika
- 1 tbs cumin powder
- (optional) 1 tbs olive oil, you can easily omit this and cook with a tad of water or boil the sliced potatoes first until slightly soft
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Wash the potatoes. Sliced the potatoes lengthwise so you have 4-5 slices per potato. Then cut those slices into sticks about a 1/2 inch thick. Repeat for all potatoes. if not using oil you can throw the fries into some boiling water for about 5 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl add all the fries and all the spices and oil, mixing well
- Add fries to a baking sheet and place into oven. Try not to layer the fries. Best pan to use is a cast iron baking pan!
- Cook for about 15-20 minutes then turn the heat up to 400 degrees. Cook another 5 minutes, flip if possible, turn the heat to 425 and cook until crispy. You can also turn the heat up for the last 2 minutes to really crisp them up. Just watch the time!!